Motto: Waḥdah, Ḥurrīyah, Ishtirākīyah ("Unity, Freedom, and Socialism")
Anthem: Walla Zaman Ya Selahy
Capital City: Tripoli
Official Language: Arab, German, and Italian
Government: Confederate, constitutional monarchy (de jure)
Decentralized, military junta (de facto)
Legislature: General People's Congress
Population: 5,370,000 (1964)
Driving Side: Right
Encompasses Tunisia and Libya
The Libyan Jamahiriya or Deutsch-Libya or simply Libya is a country in North Africa bordering the United Arab Republic to the east, Algeria to the west, Chad to the south, and Niger to the southwest. It is a constitutional monarchy with Arab socialist characteristics although effectively it is a military junta ruled by self-proclaimed Sultan Erwin of the House of Rommel. For a time, the country was ruled by Sultan Idris I of Senussi after WWII but mounting public discontent, corruption, and rising Arab nationalism led to the downfall of the king at the hands of the Free Officers Movement in an earlier Libyan coup in 1964. With ironically, the ex-Afrika Korp and former-German turned-Libyan Marshal Rommel as the country's second Sultan albeit only ceremonial. Libya under Rommel is determined to wipe out the British and the French from Africa including the French's Francophone lackeys for the liberation of Africa for the sake of his pan-African ideals and as revenge for the Western Allies' partitioning of Germany.
The country enjoys one of North Africa's highest standards of living in part due to the oil revenue and Rommel's social welfare policies. It has a high literacy rate, high life expectancy, low crime and malnutrition rates, and a rapidly-growing economy that saw both Tripoli and Benghazi grow to become North Africa's shining jewels for their economic prosperity. Rommel and the military junta under him could be best described as a textbook example of a "benevolent dictatorship" where Rommel rules a hands-off approach which provided much leeway for cultural and personal expression in Libya as military matters concerns him the most. Rommel rules for the welfare of the people Libya as seen with his social welfare policies that saw a major decrease in illiteracy, malnutrition, homelessness, and cholera outbreaks.
They Pulled a Lettow-Vorbeck in Libya
The Africa Campaign saw Rommel pulling off a Lettow-Vorbeck at the near end of WWII in 1944 with pockets of resistance forming in Libya and Tunisia by Afrika Korps garrison in which they managed to repulse Commonwealth offensives in spite of low supplies as well as recruiting Libyan resistance movements. Rommel defied orders from Berlin to go France and decided to stay in Africa in order to protect his men. Rommel played a game of cat and mouse with British troops in the Libyan coasts where the British are constantly pursuing Rommel's forces (nicknamed the Rommel Caravan) which were moving erratically and splitting off like cells in order to confuse and boggle the British down. This continued well after Hitler's suicide and when news came late to Africa that the Flensburg government had surrendered to the Allies; Rommel assembled what was left of his men in the Afrika Korps and the Royal Italian Army to give them an arousing speech before finally giving his final orders to order them to go into hiding while Rommel will personally surrender himself to Allied authorities.
It was complicated to charge Rommel as Allied accounts stated that the field marshal treated them generously and the Allies had cultivated a chivalrous image around the Desert Fox and Allied generals like Montgomery and Patton had came to Rommel's defense. Thus Rommel was acquitted of all charges and the Allies had hoped that he would help in the formation of the West German Bundeswehr but Rommel declined. Stating that he could not bare live in a divided Germany and had said that Libya was like a second home to him. In 1949, Rommel returned to Libya under the blessing of Sultan Idris I and became a military advisor to the Royal Libyan Army then a general. It was during this time Rommel began assembling his old Afrika Korps comrades, Askari veterans, and former Italian soldiers in order to form Afrika Schild - what used to be a military fraternity of war veterans of the North African campaign.
Libya's Deposed King
Libya gained its independence in 1946 after the unification of Tripoli, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica after a brief British interim administration period. Its first Sultan was Sultan Idris I of the Senussi dynasty. Sultan Idris I could be best described as an old, cautious, ineffectual yet well-meaning ruler. Sultan Idris' policies ultimately relied on the judgement of his entourage of nobles and close circles of political allies as well as Muslim sheikhs. Admittedly, Idris had little desire to rule over an unified Libya as the Senusi's stronghold was in Cyrenaica. To placate the demands of local tribal rulers in Fezzan and Tripoli, Idris made Libya a federation to the dismay of his clique. For a time, Libya was a backwater nation in the 40s and 50s before oil was discovered. There was great wealth inequality, and high levels of illiteracy and starvation outside of cities like Tripoli and Benghazi in the countryside.
By the early 60s, oil was discovered in Libya and many Western nations were quick to extract them after Sultan Idris allowed them to operate in exchange for a cut in their profits as well as foreign investments. Libya's economy grew and so did their standards of living but this coincided with the rise of Pan-Arab and Arab nationalist sentiments in the Middle East and North Africa. Idris was seen as an ineffectual Western puppet who allowed the West to exploit Libya's oil. By this time, Rommel had converted to Islam after one fateful soul-searching in the Libyan desert and made a public appearance by offering Nasser his service in defeating the UK, France, and Israel in the Sinai Crisis. Thus Rommel reached the zenith of his popularity in the Arab world and a movement of Nasserist and socialist-minded officers began to form around Rommel the German. Idris is now presented to a threat to his power and he knows that it would be political suicide in attempting to arrest Rommel.
Return Home as Heroes
In 1964, the Afrika Bund under Rommel and the Libyan Free Officers Movement inspired by the one in Egypt overthrew Sultan Idris I and the Senussi dynasty in what was initially two separate military coup with the Schild in Tripoli and the FOM in Benghazi until the two factions united in overthrowing the Sultan. The coup coincided with popular resistance against Sultan Idris, particularly in Tripoli and Fezzan. The coup on September of '64 officially abolished the Kingdom of Libya in favor of the Libyan Jamahiriya which was envisioned as a commune with elements of direct democracy at the most local of levels as well as its economy managed along Islamic Prussian socialist lines as written on Rommel's Little Yellow Book. A limited form of Sharia Law was established that only applied for Muslims and touched upon issues of inheritance, marriage, taxes, ownership, and lawsuits. Reforms and progress were made in the issues of health, education, and women's rights to an extend.
In spite of the Free Officers Movement insistence on establishing a republic, Rommel proved to be more popular among the Libyans in comparison to a group of shadowy conspirators and the FOM finally agreed to uphold Rommel as Libya's ceremonial Sultan for now at least in order to placate the monarchistic Cyrenaicans, erode exiled Idris' support base, and to provide Libya an Islamic symbol and a continuation to Libya's line of Sultans. Thus the House of Rommel was established although it lacked any function and Rommel's newly-wed Arab-Italian wife didn't had a heir. Effectively, Rommel ruled as a socialist military dictator with regal trapping and wasn't too dissimilar from the likes of Egypt's Nasser or Iraq's Qasim. The Soviet Union, the Communist bloc, and nations of the Third World were quick to recognize the new regime while Britain and France refused as they saw Rommel as a threat to their African holdings. They begun to actively fund Salafist and diehard pro-Idris rebel movements within Libya.
By 1965, Libya joined the United Arab Republic established by Nasser under the framework of a confederation of MENA states and by 1967, the UAR and Libya managed to defeat the Israelis in the Six-Day War in part due to Skorzeny's training of the Egyptian Army as well as tactics devised by ex-Wehrmacht generals in the Afrika Schild. Leaving a Palestine restored to its 1948-borders, a neutral city-state called the Free State of Jerusalem, and Israeli allowed to exist as a rump state on Rommel's request to his friend Nasser. For the most part, Arab desires to destroy Israel had been quenched and Rommel would set his attentions southward to liberating Western and Central Africa from colonial rule as part of his Pan-Africanist ambitions much to the British's and French's worries that the Desert Fox had risen back from the grave and is now out for blood in the desert.
Libya's population is estimated to be around 5 million in 1964 and this is including Tunisia. Libya combined with Tunisia is a large country in the desert terrains of North Africa where the population is primarily concentrated very narrowly along the coast in a similar manner to Egypt. Population density is about 50 persons per km˛ (130/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per km˛ (2.6/sq. mi.) elsewhere and especially in the south where there's nothing but desert. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. About 88% of the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the three largest cities, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, and Tunis. In Libya Proper, the population stands around 3 million while in Tunisia, it's 2 million thus amounting to 5 million people living in the Jamahiriya.
The majority of Libyans and Tunisians are Sunni Muslim Arabs who follow Arabic customs and speak Arab which comprise 85% percent of the population in Libya. Yet more specifically, 90% of their ancestors are Arabized Berbers and a minority of them are pure Berbers who are raised in Berber culture. There are about 140 clans in Libya spread across the lands of Tripoli, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. 10% are Italians who either have settled in the country since colonial times or were Italian soldiers that decided to stay in Libya after WWII. They have become mostly well-integrated into Arab Libyan society when large amounts of Italian youths began to learn how to speak Arab yet have maintained their Catholic religion and cultural influence over the country which is still noticeable to this day.
Settler in Libya
The 4% are made up of Germans who were Afrika Korps soldiers or descendants of them. They are overly-represented in the fields of technology, military, and the arts which has been a source of low racial tensions between Arab Libyans and Germans mostly kept under the rug by Rommel himself. The 1% represent an amalgamation of Jews, French, Tuareg, Nubian, and many other refugees coming from Central Africa. The Jews and French were mostly left to their own devices by Rommel while the UN had reported that refugee camps were being set up near the Libyan border of French-controlled Chad and Niger.
Due to advancements in medicine, increased access to clean water, mass irrigation projects in order to produce fertile soil, and mass vaccination programs; the average life expectancy increased to 75 years for the average Libyan as well as a decrease in infant mortality rate while the population grows at a sustainable rate (2 children for one parent). Free housing and education meant that homelessness and illiteracy rates fell in Libya which is the most the Rommel regime had done for Libya in its first two years.
Libyan society is far from being progressive compared to the West and especially in the 1960s. The country remains largely backward and rural outside of urban and coastal cities. In the vast open desert, people still lived like nomads and Quranic teaching is often considered to be sufficient enough to be considered as education. Islamic values are still upheld in Libya and compared to Egypt, pan-Arab and secular sentiments aren't popular or widespread in Libya. Which is the sole reason why Rommel decided to usurp and preserve the Sultanate at the moment. Rommel also instilled Spartanian values in Libyan men and children. With the children being drilled with army tactics at an early age in the Arab Youth and that every able-bodied Libyan was required to conduct 2 years of services in the Libyan Army.
The changes the society was undergoing were made possible in large measure by petroleum wealth, which had converted the country from one of the world's poorest at the time of independence in 1951 to one of the most prosperous. By the late 1960s, most Libyans enjoyed educational opportunities, health care, and housing that were among the best in Africa and the Middle East. Responsibility for the care of the old and the needy had been largely shifted from the extended family to a comprehensive system of social security. Education and medical care were free, and when necessary the state subsidized housing and other necessities. Life expectancy, perhaps the ultimate measure of living standards, had lengthened by ten years since 1960, and social mobility was much improved.
Family values are important in Libya as Libya is a very conservative society. This is the reason why a lot of nuclear families live in compact apartment blocs alongside their parents and grandparents. Abortions in all cases are shunned and women are expected to get careers then settle down as mothers when married. Villagers and rural tribes members continued to migrate to cities and towns, seeking better-paying jobs in industry or in the service sector of the modern economy. Roughly one-half of the population was under the age of fifteen. The prospects for future employment and a fruitful life were such that Libyan youth for the most part were not the discontented lot found elsewhere in North Africa. Yet population growth for Arabs are booming in Libya and the number of jobs far exceeded the number of qualified Libyans; consequently, the population included at least around seven hundred thousand Italian and Germans as well as foreign expatriate workers from Greece, Turkey, and Spain who were essential for the functioning of the economy.
Turned into a Mosque
The status of women continued to undergo modification at the behest of the revolution's leaders. Especially in urban areas, women in ever- greater numbers were entering schools and the universities and finding employment in professions newly opened to them. Although tradition remained quite strong, the role of women was in the midst of what was for Libya a remarkable transformation. Even Rommel allowed women entry into the Libyan Armed Forces - particularly in the Air Force and Army Medic Corps. Much to the dismay of traditional Libyan sensitivities.
In spite of the gains of the revolution, however, Libyan society was deeply divided. Little sense of national unity, identity, or purpose had developed, and the old ethnic and geographic divisions among Cyrenaica, Fezzan, and Tripolitania were still very evident. Alienation from the Rommel regime and its policies was widespread, a sentiment reinforced by shortages of consumer goods and by persistent exhortations to participate in governing the country. Whole segments of the populace were so disaffected that they either did not participate or did so only minimally, retreating into apathy and private matters. Most foreign observers believed that the regime faced a difficult task in convincing the majority of Libyans of the need for further social change. In the 1960s, Libyan society remained profoundly conservative and resistant to the impulses for change that emanated from its leaders.
The Libyan Economy is unique in North Africa. Whereas Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia all have large populations, considerable agricultural potential, and well-established industrial bases, Libya possesses few of these advantages. It does however, have abundant energy resources--primarily an attractive type of light low-sulfur crude oil as well as some natural gas. Given the country's small population (5.3 million in 1964) and considerable petroleum-derived income, the Libyan economy has more in common with those of the small oil-exporting Persian Gulf states than with those of its North African neighbors. The country suffers from trade embargoes from the UK and France but this doesn't stop the Americans, Soviets, Italians, and the Japanese from making deals with the Rommel regime in Libya.
Because of Libya's great dependence on oil revenues, the general level of the Libyan economy is closely related to the health of the petrochemical industry. Despite massive investment in agriculture and nonpetroleum-related industry, the percentage of Libya's gross domestic product (GDP) derived from oil has remained fairly constant since the early 1960s being 60% of the total Libyan export revenue. Since Sultan Erwin and his associates came to power in 1969, reducing Libya's dependence on oil has been the government's major economic policy objective. Its inability to achieve this goal stems from ill-advised policy decisions as well as the many obstacles to economic diversification in a land lacking in both basic infrastructure and water resources.
Diversification is an important issue because at current rates of production, Libyan oil reserves are not expected to last beyond the second decade of the next century. Thus, the long-term health of the Libyan economy hinges on developing a self-sustaining nonpetroleum sector. Otherwise, once oil reserves are depleted, Libya will become as poor as it was before its current oil boom. The September 1969 military coup d'état marked the beginning of the third period, a period that saw Libya change from a Western oriented capitalist country into a strongly nationalist, anti colonialist, socialist state. This period also witnessed the government's growing intervention in the economy, which was largely financed by the booming oil revenues of the 1970s. In 1951 with Libya under Idris, the country was considered as the poorest in the region by the UN. Until 1972 when the country was labelled as a middle-upper class income nation with a GDP PPP of $230 billion and $7,800 per capita with a Gini index of 35.2.
The Prime Minister
Sultan Erwin of the House of Rommel
Prime Minister Hafez al Assad (The Syrian Exile)
This Entire Country Together
Libya is a de jure semi-constitutional monarchy and a confederacy that grants administrative rights to the region of Tripolitania and Cyraenica with Fezzan falling under Tripolitania's jurisdiction. Erwin Rommel of the House of Rommel acts as the Sultan of Libya after deposing Idris I and the Senussi dynasty in 1964 after a popular revolt and military coup. The officers of the Free Officers Movement controls military and political affairs, and they hold positions such as "Minister of Defense" and "Minister of the Interior". While German and Libyan technocrats handle economic development and national building of the country. Holding positions such as "Minister of Foreign Affairs", "Minister of Economy', and the "Minister of National Development and Oil". Political parties and the parliament are abolished as they do not "represent the will of the people", and they were replaced with so-called "People's Committee" that act in a manner similar to unions. The People's Committee often decide through the use of public referenda that requires majority support for a bill to pass on a local level (the commune). Which means that laws vary from commune to commune.
For all intents and purposes, Libya is a military dictatorship with the trappings of a monarchy. Foreign analysts have even described Rommel as a "Sternberg in Libya" and a "German-Arab Bonapartist". Rommel rules with an iron fist and rules in a manner befitting of a military commander due to his Spartanian mindset he had developed while in Libya. Yet he gives the Libyans much leeway for cultural and personal expression as he diverts his attention to military matters that concerns him the most. Rommel maintained his position through sheer charisma and a carefully-cultivated popular image alone. Rommel and his cadre of German Afrika Korps and Italian veterans formed a clique (Afrika Bund) within the country's government that acts in symbiosis with the Arab-based Free Officers Movement as their interests and ideals align - to eradicate Western influence in the country. The Libyan government is aligned with Nasser's dreams of a Pan-Arabic state and they are antagonistic towards Western influence in the MENA which is manifested in the French, British, and the Gulf States.
Power Struggle Would Inevitably Come
The Head of Government of Libya is a Prime Minister and the role is currently held by a Syrian-exile named Hafez al-Assad. The position of Prime Minister is elected for every 5 years with the approval of the majority of People's Committee. The Sultan would be then obligated to appoint him as Prime Minister. Hafez al-Assad was an unlikely candidate for the position of Libyan PM as he was an outsider to the OFM. However, he has strong Pan-Arabist credentials and has been rumored to be a Ba'athist after he fled out of the UAR during a failed coup in Syria in 1963 which only complicates Libyan and UAR relations. Hafez rules in the shadow behind Rommel's throne and Libyan governmental politics is filled with intricacies ranging from conspiracies of Rommel's "royal court" to the affairs of military cliques within the Armed Forces. In 1969, there's a new rising star in town by the name of Muammar Gaddafi, chosen by the OFM, that would pose as a threat to Assad's hold over Libya. Rommel's age and degenerative health would also be a concern for the people of Libya.
Libya maintains an active foreign policy influenced by ideals of anti-colonialism, Pan-Africanism, and Pan-Arabianism. It engages in Weltpolitik-like policy befitting of the so-called "Prussia of North Africa" where it dabbles in the affairs of Middle Eastern, North and Central African states. Regularly arming pro-independence rebel groups and backing post-colonial states born out of the aftermath of the Sahelian Desert War. Libya is a member of the United Nations since its founding and participates in all peacekeeping missions - the fourth largest contributor. In addition, Libya is a member of the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Countries, and one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. However since Rommel's ascension as Sultan, the NAM saw Libya's participation in the organization diminishing. Now at the cross-roads between siding with the US or the Soviets in the Cold War. Though Rommel has kept both at bay and the ever-so pragmatic Assad is attempting to benefit from both country's generous military and economic "donations".
Rommel has promoted the theory of "Third Worldism" which is different from the economic or Cold War allegiance view of the world. Instead the First World is made out of superpowers such as the US and the USSR in addition to Great Powers such as France and the United Kingdom. The Second World is comprised of emerging powers such as CCP's North China, the KMT's South China, Italy, FRG, Republican Prussia, and the Iberian Union. The Third World is comprised of nascent and post-colonial independent states. Rommel seeks to give Libya her place in the sun by becoming the leader of the Third World and by extension, the Arab world, to defend their interests from both the Americans and the Soviets. To this end Rommel has sought to clandestinely develop Libya's nuclear arsenal after he was alarmed to see Israel having nukes of her own.
and Defence Minister Gaddafi in 1968
Becoming the architect behind the Afrika Schild - "the shield to protect the Arab world and liberate Africa" - was perhaps Rommel's biggest and his proudest achievement. The Afrika Schild is a multinational association of North African states with an unified military command and tight-knight relations between government. In addition to its own military force which is the equivalent to the EU fielding an army. They are all bounded by shared opposition to colonialism and imperialism as well as hatred for Israel. Its member states included the State of Morocco - a client state of Spain nominally ruled by Mohammed V with the disgraced Francisco Franco as its Governor-General, the Republic of Algeria which earned her independence in 1962, Libya under Rommel, and the United Arab Republic led by Nasser. Out of the three, Libya enjoys excellent with the UAR the most which is intrinsically tied to Rommel's friendship with Gamal Abdel Nasser as both of them saw each other as brothers.
The Schild's greatest achievements was in forcing Israel to cede Palestine its 1948 borders during an alternate Six Day War which ended in an Arab victory as well as forcing the French out of the Sahel during the Sahelian Desert War. However the Schild is Rommel's pet project and it is uncertain if the Schild would fall if Rommel were to die from old age. Like any grand political projects of an Arab federation in the past.