By 1968, LBH had sent more than half a million troops to Asia, and was pouring in $30 billion annually, yet the end was nowhere in sight.America was floundering in Vietnam and was being condemned for its actions there, and French leader Charles de Gaulle also ordered NATO off French soil in 1966. Meanwhile, numerous protests in America went against the Vietnam War and the draft. Opposition was headed by the influential Senate Committee of Foreign Relations, headed by Senator William Fullbright of Arkansas. "Doves" (peace lovers) and "war hawks" (war supporters) clashed. Both sides (the U.S. and North Vietnam) did try to have intervals in bombings, but they merely used those as excuses to funnel more troops into the area.
LBJ also ordered the CIA to spy on domestic antiwar activists, and he encouraged the FBI to use its counterintelligence program ("Cointelpro") against the peace movement. More and more, America was trapped in the awful Vietnam War, and it couldn't get out, thus feeding more and more hatred and resentment to the American public. Johnson was personally suffering at the American casualties, as he wept as he signed condolence letters and even prayed with Catholic monks in a nearby church—at night, secretly, and the fact that North Vietnam had almost taken over Saigon in a blistering offensive during Tet, the Vietnamese new year, didn't help either. Johnson also saw a challenge for the Democratic ticket from Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, and the nation, as well as the Democratic Party, was starting to be split by Vietnam. LBJ refused to sign an order for more troops to Vietnam. Then, on March 31, 1968, Johnson declared that he would stop sending in troops to Vietnam and that he would not run in 1968, shocking America.