During the last debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, (transcript), I was listening for one issue above all others: Pakistan. The moderator did ask one question concerning Pakistan, which Romney answered at length. This is his most pertinent statement:
But Pakistan is important to the region, to the world and to us, because Pakistan has 100 nuclear warheads, and they're rushing to build a lot more. They'll have more than Great Britain sometime in the - in the relatively near future. They also have the Haqqani network and - and the Taliban existent within their country. And so a - a Pakistan that falls apart, becomes a failed state would be of extraordinary danger to Afghanistan and us. And so we're going to have to remain helpful in encouraging Pakistan to move towards a - a more stable government and - and rebuild a relationship with us. And that means that - that - that our aid that we provide to Pakistan is going to have to be conditioned upon certain benchmarks being met.
The moderator then turned to the president, who tap-danced around the question and avoided answering it at all. The moderator asked a second question about Pakistan, and again the president avoided giving an answer. In both instances, President Obama spoke in generalities but gave very little detail. Those who have watched the debates, and Obama's speeches over the years, know that he is usually not afraid to give details; indeed, his willingness to give the details of his plans (as compared to the reluctance of his opponent to offer them) was one of the main differences I noticed between Obama and McCain in the 2008 presidential race, and the difference is even more pronounced now, given that Romney says (1) he'll "repeal and replace Obamacare" but never gives details as to what he'll replace it with; (2) he'll cut spending to match his much-ballyhooed tax cuts, but says very little about what he'd cut; and (3) he'll fix the economy by slashing regulations and adding 12M jobs, but (except for massive tax cuts, minimizing regulation, and ending Obamacare), never says exactly how he'd do that.
In other words, Mitt Romney's track record of revealing details on how he'd accomplish his goals has been sparse at best, whereas President Obama has nearly always been fairly forthcoming with such details. So why the glaring (at least to me) difference in the level of detail concerning America's policy towards Pakistan? Maybe it's because Obama understands how one misspoken word from him on this matter could light the fuse that would light Pakistan on fire and put her on a road that can lead only to great tragedy.