Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter On 'The Five-Sided Box' "War is the heart of what we do, but you're also the manager and leader of the world's largest enterprise," Carter told us.

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Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter On 'The Five-Sided Box'

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Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter On 'The Five-Sided Box'

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Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter On 'The Five-Sided Box'

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter On 'The Five-Sided Box'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/731233538/731751898" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. hold a news conference at the Pentagon in 2017 in Arlington, VA. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES hide caption

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CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. hold a news conference at the Pentagon in 2017 in Arlington, VA.

CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

There are some jobs that never leave you — even long after you leave them.

For example: being Secretary of Defense. Ash Carter served as secretary under President Obama from February 2015 until the end of that Administration.

He started at the Pentagon back in 1981 — when Caspar Weinberger was secretary and Reagan was President.

Carter is the author of a new memoir called Inside the Five-Sided Box: Lessons from a Lifetime of Leadership in the Pentagon.

We spoke to him about his take on the current status of our national security policy and more.