Because of dramatic changes in the nature and impact of armed conflict since the end of the Cold War, humanitarian military intervention has assumed increasing importance as a conflict management and resolution tool. Given the lethargic nature of UN interventions, moral imperatives have compelled African institutions to deploy intervention forces, sometimes with weak mandates, insufficient means and heavily dependent on external support. On the ground, the use of force by such 'humanitarian' operations has not materially impacted the security situation, or been able to meet heightened public expectations in the protection of civilians. This is because 'robust' multidimensional peace operations have sought merely to adapt the Cold War doctrine of peacekeeping to compelling new realities, primarily focusing on humanitarian assistance, as opposed to the restoration of security. These inadequacies underscore the need for rethinking current responses on a new doctrine of 'humanitarian security intervention' with a mandate allowing a higher remit in the use of force, primarily to restore and maintain security. Such a responsive doctrine promises to address compelling humanitarian imperatives, and meet increasing public expectations of effective civilian protection.