The GAO report notes:
Recent strategic guidance on the Arctic issued by the administration and the Department of Defense (DOD) establish a supporting role for the department relative to other federal agencies, based on a low level of military threat expected in the region. In January 2014 the administration issued the Implementation Plan to the National strategy for the Arctic Region that designated DOD as having a largely supporting role for the activities outlined in the plan. ...
U.S. Northern Command—the DOD advocate for Arctic capabilities—stated that it is in the process of updating its regional plans for the Arctic and is conducting analysis to determine future capability needs. For example, Northern Command is updating the Commander’s Estimate for the Arctic, which establishes the commander’s intent and missions in the Arctic and identifies near-, mid-, and long-term goals. Additionally, the command is conducting studies of various Arctic mission areas, such as maritime homeland defense and undersea surveillance, to identify future capability needs.
The military needs some better guidance than it is getting on what exactly it should do up there."Advocating" won't cut it. We need a "command" mindset.