The Defense Department is actively fighting the war on drugs. It’s one of its top missions, but the only way to have a chance in winning it is to have the cooperation of other countries.

The Defense Department is the lead organization working to stop drug flow by air and sea. Needless to say, a major player in this drug war is Mexico. A recently published DoD report provides some insight and key updates on the efforts of the U.S. and Mexico as they try to stem the flow of illegal drugs.

Cartels in Mexico are able to produce large amounts of drugs due to the lack of restrictions and regulations on chemicals. With these chemicals, cartels are able to manufacture fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other dangerous drugs.

According to Mathew J. Flynn, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Global Threats, “Mexico remains the source of nearly all heroin seized in the United States and is a transit route for much of the cocaine available in our country.”

Flynn pointed out that while more needs to be done to stop drug trafficking, the Mexican security forces are working tirelessly to fight the drug cartels and the criminals attempting to smuggle drugs across the border.

He went on to say that, “despite the obstacles, Mexican law enforcement and military professionals, in cooperation with their U.S. counterparts, are bravely confronting the transnational criminal organizations that threaten both of our countries.”

According to Flynn, the Mexican government recently participated in two noteworthy interdiction operations:

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On October 15, utilizing a U.S.-furnished radar in Hermosillo, the Mexican Army identified and tracked a suspicious plane. It then dispatched a group of soldiers to the location that the plane had landed. They seized 390 lbs of cocaine, 425 lbs of crystal methamphetamine, 125 lbs of heroin, and nine lbs of fentanyl.

A few days later, on October 20, the Mexican Navy identified a suspicious vessel off the coast of Colima. Six Mexican Navy boats interdicted and boarded the vessel. There, the sailors found 1.1 metric tons of cocaine.

A DOD representative reiterated a tough reality: drug interdictions are low, while drug-related cartel violence is alarmingly high. The DOD representative went on to say, “These organizations present a clear threat to Mexico and the Mexican government’s ability to exert effective control over parts of its country.”

Looking into the future, there is no doubt that it is going to require cooperation and a strong effort on behalf of Mexico and the U.S. to slow the flow of drugs and dismantle the cartels.