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Defense Secretary Ashton Carter issued a challenge to the defense establishment to think “outside the five-sided box” and apply innovative solutions to today’s national security challenges. Innovation in the Department of Defense (DoD) isn’t easy. It’s harder to innovate in the government than in the private sector; that’s just the way it is. It’s not easy, but it can be done. For those leaders and innovators who work inside the DoD acquisition system, here are some observations: