In a column arguing for removing Finnish peacekeepers from Afghanistan, Helsingin Sanomat's Juhana Rossi makes the following claim:
If Finland were to pull out of Afghanistan, it would not be an act of giving up. Finland has many good reasons to reduce rather than to expand its presence in Afghanistan.
But it most certainly would be an act of giving up. When you try to do something but stop short of your goal, you've given up. That's what the expression means. Granted, if external circumstances change, you can change course without it being considered giving up, but all of Rossi's reasons for reducing the Finnish presence in Afghanistan applied already when the peace-keepers went in.
Don't get me wrong; there are situations in which giving up is warranted. If the calculation is that the Finnish presence in Afghanistan isn't doing any good and won't be able to do any good in the future, then giving up becomes the correct response. I don't know if Afghanistan is that far gone at the moment, but the point can be argued. Rossi doesn't argue it, however.
While worrying about Finland's reputation, of all unimportant things, Rossi comes up with a rather unrealistic scenario:
A different kind of hypothesis: what if a Finnish patrol were to stop a car in Afghanistan with Osama bin Laden in it? Would Finland hand bin Laden over to the Americans, incur the hatred of militant Muslims, and thus increase the likelihood of a terror attack in Finland?
Did he really just advocate for avoiding arresting Osama bin Laden on the grounds that to accomplish the feat might upset militant Muslims? Damn.