London, Aug 17 : Hardliners in the American Government are pushing President George W. Bush to take a much tougher line towards Russia, putting the US and Russia on a collision course to a new Cold War, Britain's newspaper website, telegraph.co.uk reported. Hardliners blamed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for failing to predict the Russian invasion of Georgia ten days ago.
The conservatives also charged that Rice failed to make clear to Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili that America would not provide military assistance in his confrontation with Russia over South Ossetia when she visited Georgia a month ago.
While trying to wrest control of Rice's foreign policy, the hardliners are pushing for the US to press NATO to bring Georgia and the Ukraine into the alliance by the end of the year.
Allies of American Vice President Dick Cheney are also pressing Bush to seek Russia's expulsion from the G8 group of leading economies, the report said.
They were also instrumental in pushing ahead with a missile defence deal with Poland on Thursday, which led to Russian threats that Poland is now a target for Moscow's nuclear arsenal.
This week Rice will travels to Brussels, where she will meet with NATO and EU foreign ministers to rally support for Georgia.