In the last decade UN peace operations have begun to explicitly seek ‘stabilization’ in the states to which they are deployed. Despite the term being included in the titles of four missions, three of which are amongst the four largest operations currently deployed, and stabilization activities being included in the mandates, there is no UN-wide interpretation of the term. Instead, the mandates include varying activities under the heading of stabilization depending on the mission. Concurrently, stabilization missions have seen the use of language such as ‘robust posture’ and ‘active patrolling’, increased logistical capabilities from Western military hardware, the encroachment of a counter-terrorism rhetoric, operations alongside host state forces, and an emphasis on (re)establishing the rule of law. This article examines the legal effects these trends could have. Due to the competing interests introduced by stabilization it is suggested that the mandates issued by the UN Security Council require further clarity and harmonisation to prevent the pursuit of lasting peace from being undermined.