With the ascension of Donald Trump to the White House, former U.S. President Barack Obama's "pivot" to Asia appears to have been burned to the ground. Its remains must yet cool, but what may ultimately emerge from the ashes could prove reassuring to Asian allies fearful of an American retreat amid China's rise.

While the new U.S. leader has revealed little about his policy toward the region, there have been numerous hints about the route he will take. Through comments by top advisers and speeches by the new president himself, it appears that Trump may be laying the groundwork for a more muscular, Reagan-esque version of the pivot — one that affirms "peace through strength."

Such a policy would likely depend heavily on a bolstered military presence in the Asia-Pacific.