G8 Summit Effectiveness Divides Experts

The Group of Eight wealthy-nation summit in Germany is ending Friday. Now, the question arises: Is the G8 still able to confront global issues or has it become outdated?

Ian Vasquez, director of the CATO Institute’s Center for Global Liberty & Prosperity, and P.J. Crowley, senior fellow and director of homeland security at the Center for American Progress, presented differing views on “Morning Call.”

“It’s been a long time since the G8 did anything useful,” declared Vaquez. “Leading industrial countries don’t actually agree on some of the big issues -- but because they have to meet once a year, they issue policy statements that are mostly rhetoric and have very little substance.”

He added, “I’m not against having ad hoc meetings with the leading industrial countries, if it also includes other important countries that aren’t in the G8 today.”

Crowley disagreed with Vaquez. “We have to separate the concept from the approach,” he said.

Crowley, who served as the special assistant to the president for national security affairs during the Clinton Adminstration, stated the significance of the topics addressed during the conference -- such as Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin having the opportunity to discuss security. “It is important that the 'board of directors' of the global system, the global economy get together.”