Sure, it sounds Reagan-esque except for a few things:
- Reagan was really only dealing with the Soviet Union in a bipolar world, so confronting the other superpower was not as complicated as confronting many potential adversaries (more on that in a minute).
- Reagan went from being confrontational to cooperative pretty damned quickly, trying to radically reverse the arms race during a walk in Reykjavik.
- The US might have been in a better position then to run up huge deficits in an arms race. Now?
The US has benefited from a liberal international order based largely on positive reciprocity, which has meant peace among the great powers and prosperity. Antagonizing those whose help we might need to fight terrorism, to contain North Korea, to sanction Iran or whoever is simply a bad idea.
Oh, and of course, this peace through strength thing seems to run directly counter to the love fest for Putin's Russia, so there's that as well.
Of course, Trump has no education in international relations, and his primary foreign policy advisers seem to be blithely ignorant of the security dilemma and the basic reality that being a bully does not pay in international relations. General Mattis may try to instruct Trump, but, so far, he has largely been neither seen nor heard as Trump builds his team and enunciates his "grand strategy" which is neither grand nor much of a strategy.
So much for ending 2016 on a happy note.