While the media have been focusing on timelines for withdrawal, Biden believes the most important part of the Senate bill is that it fundamentally changes the purpose of U.S. military presence in Iraq:
"It redefines the mission of our troops from fighting in the midst of a civil war to doing what is rational for them to do,"1.) train Iraqi Army,
2.) deny al Qaida occupation of swaths of territory
3.) and force protection
He believes far fewer troops would be needed to perform that mission.
Biden claims to be trying to keep the president from "careening off a cliff" by attempting to achieve the goal of a strong central government in Baghdad, when that is no longer possible.
Biden's solution would have regional control over the day-to-day lives of the people, including marriage laws, education and taxation, while a weak federal government would be responsible for border control, distribution of oil wealth and the military.