The Sea Services need to connect with the American people, to create a public push for adequate funding. In 1916, 13-year old Marjorie Sterrett's letter to the New York Tribune - which included a dime to help the United States build a battleship - started a nationwide campaign. That kind of grassroots support is critical today.
During a recent meeting of foreign policy fellows at Oxford University, I attended a lecture by a Royal Air Force officer who recently had returned from a tour managing the allied air war over Syria. He explained the difficulties associated with executing a modern air war against the Islamic State. The proposed solution to many of the issues he faced included increasing investments in artificial intelligence to streamline engagement timelines and decrease the likelihood of civilian casualties. He feared, though, that the biggest impediment to introducing this new technology would be building enough public support to compel the government to act.