Although critics say the strategy is faltering, Florida Senator Bill Nelson says he's pleased by the latest developements in Afghanistan

In announcing that General David Petraeus would be replacing General Stanley McChrystal in leading the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan, President Obama stressed that the strategy would not be changing.

That concerns critics of the war.  As Newsweek magazine's Michael Hirsch writes today, "Obama's biggest problem now is a rising tide of doubt, not only within McChrystal's obviously stressed-out team but throughout the military and national-security apparatus, that there is any real momentum or that the policy in Afghanistan is working."

But when CL asked Florida Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson if he was concerned about the conflict, he instead triumphed the killing of (another) #3 guy for al-Qaeda recently taken down in battle.

"I just spoke with General Petraeus..he is very optimistic.  He points out that this is a change of personnel, that it's not a change in policy.  And the policy is to try to give some stability to Afghanistan so that the government can then take over and provide for their own security.  Now the problem is:  General Petraeus, who was so successful in Iraq, well, Iraq is not Afghanistan.  Afghanistan for centuries has never been governed.  And that's the challenge that we face.  But, remember we've been at this for ten years.  We had no choice to get in because after we left Afghanistan after Charlie Wilson's war, that created the vacuum that was filled by al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden from which they could do damage to us."

Let me give you some other good news.  It was reported in the papers last week that we got the number three guy in al-Queda (That was Mustafa Abu al-Yazid.  Obama administration officials said he was the overall commander for al Queda in Afghanistan and Pakistan ).  He was the chief operation officer....that was a big, big victory for America.  Now number one and two, Osama, being number one , they're keeping them stashed in a cave in Pakistan, but the noose is tightening, and we're going to find him (The New York Times reported that The C.I.A. has previously killed many of Yazid’s predecessors in Al Qaeda’s No. 3 slot).

CL:  The deadline for removing many of our troops is July of 2011.  Do you really think that will still happen?

Nelson:  That is the plan, and according to General Petraeus in our discussion two days ago, that's the timetable he's working on.