This chapter argues that any analysis of the African Standby Force (ASF) must begin from the premise that it is conceptualized differently from other rapid response mechanisms. It provides a trajectory of the development of the ASF and other instruments such as the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis, which was developed as a stop-gap measure pending the operationalization of the ASF, and created in response to peculiar security situations confronting some member states. The chapter presents analysis of the changing security landscape on the continent, obstacles to the African Union (AU’s) employment of the ASF, and the ensuing responses generated by the Regional Economic Communities and/or Regional Mechanisms as well as affected member states. It suggests that given the varied security challenges confronting the continent and the theoretical underpinnings of the standby forces as collective defense mechanisms, the AU needs a number of response mechanisms.