It is impossible to know what a president's foreign policy legacy will be until long after they have left office. But there is good reason to believe that the "pivot to Asia" will come to be seen as U.S. President Barack Obama's greatest foreign policy mistake.

Obama once referred to himself as the first Pacific president and the pivot is touted by Obama's defenders as a great success that properly rebalanced America's foreign policy focus away from costly interventions in the Middle East to Asia, the prophesied center of the 21st century economy. The reality is that the pivot was a failure that caused serious negative side effects in other parts of the world.

The pivot was based on a series of flawed assumptions, namely: that U.S. foreign policy had previously neglected the Asia Pacific, that Asia's rising importance in the global economy called for the assignment of more military resources to the region, and that the United States could afford to pull back from the Middle East and other regions.