This chapter argues that studying the dominant international peace-building culture helps explain the failure of prevention. It demonstrates that in Congo, the failure to prevent the resumption of large-scale violence was due to the international neglect of bottom-up tensions. It then demonstrates, the Congo case also illustrates the trend, but with an important twist. The prevention strategy allowed a crisis localized in the province of North Kivu to escalate once again into a full-scale war. In Congo, the dominant culture shaped the intervention in a way that precluded preventive action at the grassroots, ultimately dooming the international efforts. In Congo as in other places where it was implemented, the protection doctrine acquired two characteristics that were in direct contradiction with the spirit of the Responsibility to Protect report and subsequent advocacy efforts. The polarization of Congolese society meant that the population saw electoral agents with about the same level of suspicion as they regarded local peace builders.