"Operation Deny Flight was a "NATO operation, begun on April 12, 1993, to enforce the "United Nations (UN) "no-fly zone in "Bosnia and Herzegovina. The operation later expanded to providing "close air support for "UN troops in Bosnia, and carrying out coercive air strikes against targets in Bosnia. Twelve NATO members contributed forces to the operation, and by its end on December 20, 1995, NATO pilots flew 100,420 sorties.
As a part of the operation, the 28 February 1994 "air battle over Banja Luka represented the first combat engagement for the NATO forces in history, while during April 1994 NATO aircraft carried out their first ever bombing mission near "Goražde in Bosnia. These incidents played an important role in the development of NATO in the "post-Cold War era and set a precedent for future NATO operations. However, the Bosnian War continued for more than two years after Deny Flight was initiated and the operation led to several conflicts between the United Nations and NATO, particularly when UN "peacekeeping soldiers were taken hostage by the Bosnian Serbs in response to NATO bombings. Despite these setbacks, Deny Flight worked an important role in the course of the "Bosnian War, as its operations successfully prevented significant use of air power by either side in the conflict. While the air strikes executed under Deny Flight had only a small impact on the war, they set the precedent for "Operation Deliberate Force, a massive NATO bombing campaign in Bosnia that played a key role in putting an end to the war.
The "Military of France encompasses an "army, a "navy, an "air force and a "military police force. The "President of the Republic heads the armed forces, with the title of "chef des armées" - "chief of the military forces". The President is the supreme authority for military matters and is the sole official who can order a nuclear strike. The French military has, as some of its primary objectives, the defence of national territory, the protection of French interests abroad, and the maintenance of global stability.
With a reported personnel strength of 779,450 in 2006 (259,050 regular force, 419,000 "regular reserve, and 101,400 law enforcement "Gendarmerie), the French Armed Forces constitutes the largest military in "European Union and the "20th largest in the world by number of troops. The French Armed Forces however have the "2nd highest expenditure of any military in the world, as well as the "3rd largest "nuclear force in the world, only behind the "United States and "Russia.