After several years of fighting and the deaths of tens of thousands, leaders of the battling forces met on November 1 at the Wright-Patterson Airforce Base, outside Dayton, Ohio, to negotiate a peace settlement. The Dayton Accords were initialed twenty days later, thus effectively bringing about a conditional end to armed hostilities. The accords were reinforced with 15,000 American ground troops, whose introduction assured that the ceasefire would be observed by all sides. In an effort to construct a stable political system in the troubled region, elections were held on September 12, 1996; 60-70% of eligible voters cast votes, resulting in a three-headed presidency representing all the major ethnic groups.
While the introduction of American forces did not bring about a permanent peace in Bosnia, it did end the carnage that had gone on for four years. In their first year of deployment in Bosnia, American troops suffered no combat deaths, and were engaged in no active fighting.