PR trumps war-fighting? Hearts and minds are very important, but killing the enemy is more important. Plus, you make this call, and immediately every Taliban stronghold will be surrounded by a ring of hostages. They’ll strap babies to their chests and shoot around them, to be only a little hyperbolic. Obviously: avoid civilian casualties whenever possible, but doing so at all costs isn’t wise. One of those costs will likely be victory.
We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect.