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The Pentagon is the huge, five-sided office building, built during World War II to house the Department of Defense. The project was under the command of Gen. Leslie Grove, who went on to command the Manhattan Project.

The size of the structure is suggested by the architechtural design: in addition to having five sides, it has five floors above ground, and it consists not of five rectangular pieces forming a pentagon but rather five nested "rings" each having that structure; each ring is separated from the adjacent ones by courtyards.

However, the phrase "the Pentagon" is most commonly used as shorthand to refer to the Department of Defense as an organization, rather than the physical building itself.

The Pentagon was attacked by al Qaeda on September 11, 2001.

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