The United tions Security Council mandates peacekeeping operations to protect civilians, and regularly authorizes operations to use force to achieve this objective. Yet in the challenging situations facing contemporary peacekeeping operations, local civilians remain vulnerable to extreme violence. One set of reasons for this unwelcome result surrounds the decisions to protect civilians forcefully in any given context. This paper describes how peacekeeping operations vest discretion over the use of robust force across multiple agents. Using sigl detection theory to model the decision-making of these agents, our alysis shows how the iterative ture of the decision-making process gives rise to a chain of authority where the most conservative decision-maker tends to prove decisive. With this alysis in tow, we turn our attention to recent protection initiatives, including Security Council Resolution 2098 (2013) and its controversial mandate for the new 'Intervention Brigade' in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.