The French Armed Forces (French: Forces armÃ©es franÃ§aises) encompass the French Army, the French Navy, the French Air Force, the French National Guard and the National Gendarmerie of France. The President of France heads the armed forces, with the title “chef des armÃ©es” (“chief of the armed forces”). The President is the supreme authority for military matters and is the sole official who can order a nuclear strike. France maintains the sixth largest defence budget in the world and the largest armed forces in size in the EU. France also maintains the world’s third-largest nuclear deterrent, behind only Russia and the United States.