Air strikes don't win wars. The allied bombing of Germany was not what defeated Hitler; the carpet-bombing of Tokyo did not defeat Imperial Japan; bombing Cambodia, North Vietnam, and Laos failed to defeat the Vietcong; in the 1980s, Russian helicopter gunships firing on targets throughout Afghanistan did not lead to a Russians victory; US air strikes on Tora Bora did not even lead to the capture of Bin Laden in 2001. Precisely what objectives have been accomplished after five years of air strikes on targets throughout Iraq? Bombing is an ineffective way to fight a war.
Moreover, air strikes seem to be particularly counter-productive when the enemy is an insurgency. Money quote from the NY Times article:
NATO's attempt to win a war in Afghanistan looks half-baked.
How the military came to call in air strikes on a civilian gathering still remains unclear. Two parliamentarians, Mr. Safi and Maulavi Gul Ahmad, who is from the area, said the villagers blamed tribal enemies for giving the military false intelligence.
“According to the villagers their enemies give false report to Americans that foreign fighters were gathering in the village,” Mr. Safi said.